Aiming for Prevention: International Initiatives

Aiming For Prevention logoConference Report

3rd Biennial Meeting of States on the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms (UNPoA) and Light Weapons
New York, USA
July 14-18, 2008

IPPNW members and associates raised the public health message once again at the 3rd Biennial Meeting of States of the United Nations Programme of Action on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons on July 14-18, 2008. Aiming for Prevention activists from Africa, Latin America, and the US participated in the week-long conference in New York in meetings, strategy sessions, panel discussions, side meetings and delegate lobbying.

Activities included:
* A very successful panel on public health entitled "Risk and Resilience" attended by over 75 NGOs and others including country delegates from Sierrra Leone, Zambia, Uganda, Canada, Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan, and UNDP among others as well as a wide range of NGO attendees.

* Release and distribution of the policy paper Prescriptions for Prevention: A Public Health and Human-Centered Approach to Reducing Firearm Violence

* Dr. Diego Zavala from Puerto Rico spoke for the IANSA Public Health Network (coordinated by IPPNW) at the NGO presentation to delegates, where he presented on how public health approaches can help prevent armed violence and called for more member state investment in health research and education. He also reported on a recent small pilot study conducted by IPPNW on violent injuries in five hospitals in five African countries, where it was found that the probability of death due to gunshot injuries was 46 times greater that death from other types of interpersonal violence, underscoring the lethality of small arms.

* Dr. Robert Mtonga of IPPNW/Zambia served on the official Zambian delegation and helped craft policy statements. Dr. Mtonga recently served on the steering committee for the Cluster Munitions Coalition that helped pass the historic Cluster Munitions Convention to ban use of the devastating weapons in Dublin in early 2008.

* Nicolas Marsh of IPPNW/Norway and PRIO served on the official Norwegian delegation.

* Small Arms Survey released its 2008 yearbook "Risk and Resilience" which includes 3 chapters on public health and was endorsed on the jacket by IPPNW co-president Dr. Vappu Taiple. IPPNW contributors included Dr. Emperatriz Crespin from El Salvador and Dr. Neil Arya from PGS in Canada.

Social events included a Central Park tour and private reception for invited delegates at the home of Dr. Vic and Ruth Sidel.